Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed a law in the country legalizes the import and sale of intellectual property without the knowledge of rights holders. Just as the war in Ukraine is referred to as a “special operation”, the obvious copyright infringement will be referred to as “parallel importation”.
Pravda.ru adds that the list of specific products for parallel imports will be approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
ANDapproved on Wednesday in Russia. As of March 31, 2022, critical infrastructure operators (government organizations, telecommunications, energy, etc.) may not purchase foreign software without the approval of the appropriate authority. By 1 January 2025 at the latest, all these organizations must switch to Russian software.
So much for facts. Now let’s try to think about what the legislation can mean in practice. First of all, it is another step by which the Putin regime is distancing itself from the rest of the civilized world. Under the term results of mental activity we can imagine software, movies, music, but also innovations, patents, brands.
It is difficult to predict what will happen under the new law. One extreme is that there will be an absolute pirate apocalypse and that the Russians, with the sanctification of the government, will steal what they can. Some commentators go so far that Russia’s desire for foreign technology will lead to a new wave of industrial espionage, as we remember from the Iron Curtain. Another manifestation may be the abuse of foreign brands – the Russians make sneakers and stick the word Adidas or a pipe from Nike on them.
But then there is a moderate current that says that parallel imports mean “only” that the Russians, under the control of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, will procure those products that do not reach Russia officially – typically through foreign sanctions. They also remind that the obligation of critical infrastructure to switch to Russian software will mean the support of local developers. But the question is whether the result will not be similar to the case of the Russian laptop:
So we have set extremes. It is clear that Russia is moving from a legal system to piracy, but only in the coming months will they show how far it will move on this scale.